Two people are in custody in the abduction of two Amish sisters in northern New York. St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells says Stephen Howells II and his girlfriend Nicole Vaisey of Hermon used a couple of methods he wouldn't specify to lure the sisters into their car.
Howells, who is 39, and the 25-year-old Vaisey, have been charged with with first-degree kidnapping. The FBI says they may face federal charges as well after the investigation wraps up.
Twelve-year-old Fannie and seven-year-old Delila Miller were taken from their family's roadside farm stand. They were dropped off 24 hours later near some houses about 10 or 20 miles from their home where they got help.
Sheriff Wells says no details about the children's experiences will be released at this time, but they were able to give information that led investigators to Howells and Vaisey. He describes the couple as long-time St. Lawrence County residents who have worked at several jobs in the area including pet grooming and as an RN. He says they were looking to abduct children who might be vulnerable and investigators are looking into whether there have been other children abducted.
The sheriff says the girls weren't specifically targeted because they were Amish, but he says "this was not spontaneous...a lot of thought went into this."
FBI Special Agent Andrew Vale says a determination on federal charges against the couple will be made depending on how the evidence unfolds.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain says a preliminary hearing will be held next week, and the charges against Howells and Vaisey will go to a grand jury.